Building is booming in Andover Station North

Andover Station North is booming, with commercial and housing development all moving forward at once.

Capstone Homes of Ramsey purchased 35 lots for new single-family homes in Andover Station North much more quickly than the Andover Economic Development Authority anticipated.
Capstone Homes of Ramsey purchased 35 lots for new single-family homes in Andover Station North much more quickly than the Andover Economic Development Authority anticipated. Photo by Eric Hagen

Community Development Director David Carlberg has heard that Walmart could be open before the busy Black Friday shopping day, the day after Thanksgiving.

Walmart would not specify a date, but store manager Todd Vanstraten said, “With major construction complete, we’re in the home stretch for our grand opening slated for later this fall.”

Those who have driven by the Parkside at Andover Station housing development this year have seen constant activity.

When the Andover Economic Development Authority sold approximately 20 acres to Ramsey’s Capstone Homes in April 2012, this area had not seen a home built for three years and the city was having trouble marketing the site for the original townhomes plan.

The EDA did not expect development to happen so quickly. According to the timing in the development agreement, Capstone Homes would have only needed to purchase 11 lots by Oct. 1. It has purchased all 35 lots and the city received about $1.2 million for these sales.

City Administrator Jim Dickinson said he was “pleasantly surprised” about how quickly Capstone Homes has been able to move this project forward.

“What we anticipated being a three-year project was done in one year, so we’re very happy that we have property no longer in the hands of the government down there,” he said.

Groundbreaking will come shortly for the 20-unit Cherrywood of Andover senior housing facility for those in need of assisted care, memory care, or skilled nursing. This 1.8-acre property is tucked between the new Capstone single-family homes and the townhomes Bruggeman Homes developed to the east. The EDA closed on the $215,000 land sale Oct. 4.

The Andover City Council recently approved a nine-year tax increment financing district to entice Measurement Specialties to move from Ham Lake and into a 25,000 square-foot facility that has yet to break ground.

“Andover has shown that its economy is turning around,” Councilmember Julie Trude said during the council discussion on the tax increment financing proposal for Measurement Specialties. “We’ve had great success with housing and now in some of our commercial areas and I want to compliment our staff for their efforts on this project,” she said.

According to Dickinson, the future tax increment generated from the project will help reimburse the city for the land write-down costs.

The EDA sold the 6.85-acre property for $50,000. Had there been no landfill nearby and thus no need for a methane gas protection system as well as overhead power line easements, the land would have been worth $502,100, Dickinson said.

The city will also chip in $150,000 for a shared parking lot with the Andover Station North ball field complex and $20,000 for a 40 mil polyurethane material under the foundation of the project that will serve as the methane gas protection system, Dickinson said.

Carlberg said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which maintains the closed landfill, suggested this protection system, which will include a probe to monitor methane gas levels.

A restaurant, Pizza Ranch, is under construction and will be owned by Andover couple Randall and Sheryl Hubin, who said in late August that the restaurant could be open around the end of the year.

Dynamic Sealing Technologies, Inc., which is also located in Andover Station North, has been one of the fastest growing private manufacturers since 2007, according to Inc. Magazine. It develops and manufactures rotary unions for a variety of machines including oil drills, cancer treatment devices, wind turbines, concentrated solar power systems, gas turbines for power generators and a dredging transfer system that vacuums the sea floor to create trenches and channels for ship passageways.

In a second phase expansion opened in January 2012, it went from 36,000 to 86,000 square feet. It already has the land for its third phase and is now negotiating with the EDA for another 7.27 acres to the north of its existing building.

Company spokesperson Chris Larson said the third-phase expansion of the existing building could happen next summer. The fourth phase would be a separate building designed for manufacturing of larger rotary unions and swivel joint products. No timeline has been established for the beginning of this phase.

Carlberg said assuming these future Dynamic Sealing Technologies, Inc. and Measurement Specialties projects proceed, there would only be a couple of commercial lots left to be developed in Andover Station North along with two separate residential lots in Parkside at Andover Station North.

Carlberg said the EDA is targeting any type of restaurant whether it be sit-down or fast-food, along with general retail, for the commercial lot northeast of the Foundation Hill Montessori and Childcare and another vacant site is in front of Blue Fin Pool and Spa. These one- to two-acre lots are not large enough for manufacturing businesses.

Considering Andover has no major thoroughfare like Highway 10 or Highway 65 and there is no regional shopping mall, “I’m pretty amazed with the number of deals that have happened in the area,” Carlberg said.

Eric Hagen is at
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